Starting Clamps: Gamma vs. Alpha

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
Please post a link to these pliers so Irvin can buy some!! He is the official TT gear tester and we must allow him to
assess the validity of any such piece of equipment. If he says it's good, then we must accept it as gospel.

Gobble Gobble!!
Oh you are joking. Anyway the brand is xuron.
 

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
That's great! Just let me know when you hit yourself in the face. String can snap no matter how high quality pliers used. Especially nat gut or thin delicate multi. When string snaps or pliers slip, watch out. Post a picture when that happens!! And don't forget the $1000.00
Couldn't it also snap with a starting clamp? You are making me feel as though I need to wear a helmet.:sneaky:
 

struggle

Legend
Couldn't it also snap with a starting clamp? You are making me feel as though I need to wear a helmet.:sneaky:
Not likely with a SC. Much more likely with even the highest grade zircon encrusted pliers at $500 a pair.

Definitely wear at least some safety glasses if yanking on knots with pliers, even Xuron pliers. They are not gonna save your eyeball
any more than dime store pliers will. It's still an eyeball and the wrong tool for the job.
 
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Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
But @USMC-615 my mentor endorsed the use of high quality pliers. Also the tennis shop where I enquired uses this brand and does not use a SC. The owner of the shop strings at the Australian open. See, I'm not crazy.
 

struggle

Legend
Does he wear Blunnies or Redbacks? Maybe Rossi's?

My mentor wears Redbacks.

Without a doubt, you will find people that tug on knots with pliers. That doesn't deem it prudent.

99% of the time, it will not be an issue.......but if you consider the intended use for pliers it's just not the best approach.
 

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
Does he wear Blunnies or Redbacks? Maybe Rossi's?

My mentor wears Redbacks.

Without a doubt, you will find people that tug on knots with pliers. That doesn't deem it prudent.

99% of the time, it will not be an issue.......but if you consider the intended use for pliers it's just not the best approach.
Alright alright already....now I have to get another SC. So many tools I have to get. I'm fed up man. I'm going to wind up with so much gear like I'm going off to war somewhere.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
FWIW, Nate Ferguson uses pliers:

Did you notice in that video when Nate tied off the bottom cross he had limited room? He used Parnell knots for all the knots except the last cross where he used a pro knot. His anchor string was on top of the intersecting string so if he had tied the knot between the 7th and 8th mains he could have used Parnell knot for all. No matter though since the “so called” Parnell and the “so called” pro knots are the same knots - a overhand knot. The only difference is how the anchor string passes through the overhand knot.

EDIT: Really nothing more than slip knots with no where to go.
 

kkm

Professional
Did you notice in that video when Nate tied off the bottom cross he had limited room? He used Parnell knots for all the knots except the last cross where he used a pro knot. His anchor string was on top of the intersecting string so if he had tied the knot between the 7th and 8th mains he could have used Parnell knot for all. No matter though since the “so called” Parnell and the “so called” pro knots are the same knots - a overhand knot. The only difference is how the anchor string passes through the overhand knot.

EDIT: Really nothing more than slip knots with no where to go.
All four, the way he tied off, and the knot, looked like Pro - not Parnell - knots to me. He went O-U-T, then he sent it under the loop over the anchor string but the opposite direction it went O-U-T. That's not how the Parnell knot is tied. Pretty sure he didn't tie three Parnell knots and one Pro knot. @Rabbit would you like to deliver a verdict?

Anyway, who cares? It's a discussion about starting clamps, which became a discussion about whether it's best to tie off with a starting clamp, pliers, or just your hands.
 

jim e

Legend
Couldn't it also snap with a starting clamp? You are making me feel as though I need to wear a helmet.:sneaky:
The way you hold a starting clamp, you do not hold onto the handles at all, and even the flat end of SC will not end up in your face if string snaps.
The majority of the time, I just use my fingers to cinch up knots. That is all that is needed, if you learn to tie a good knot, unless you string a great number of racquets daily, that is all that is needed.
 

struggle

Legend
Did you notice in that video when Nate tied off the bottom cross he had limited room? He used Parnell knots for all the knots except the last cross where he used a pro knot. His anchor string was on top of the intersecting string so if he had tied the knot between the 7th and 8th mains he could have used Parnell knot for all. No matter though since the “so called” Parnell and the “so called” pro knots are the same knots - a overhand knot. The only difference is how the anchor string passes through the overhand knot.

EDIT: Really nothing more than slip knots with no where to go.
Way to stay on target.
 
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dak95_00

Hall of Fame
Anyway, who cares? It's a discussion about starting clamps, which became a discussion about whether it's best to tie off with a starting clamp, pliers, or just your hands.
Should we change it to tension loss at the tie off??? How much is lost if one pulls the knot with their fingers vs pliers vs a SC?
(This ought to keep ‘em busy for awhile!)
 

jim e

Legend
Alright alright already....now I have to get another SC. So many tools I have to get. I'm fed up man. I'm going to wind up with so much gear like I'm going off to war somewhere.
A pair of Kelly forceps are nice to have as well. I use it to grab the string in tight places. One can never have too many instruments.
Don't forget to get a spacer, or as some call it a starting block, to place between the frame and sc.
 
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struggle

Legend
A pair of Kelly forceps are nice to have as well. I use it to grab the string in tight places. One can never have too many instruments.
Don't forget to get a spacer, or as some call it a starting block, to place between the frame and sc.

Also good for stopping the flow of blood after plunging the pliers into your eyeball. Good call. Pumpkin, you should grab a pair or two of those also.
 
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Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Did you notice in that video when Nate tied off the bottom cross he had limited room? He used Parnell knots for all the knots except the last cross where he used a pro knot. His anchor string was on top of the intersecting string so if he had tied the knot between the 7th and 8th mains he could have used Parnell knot for all. No matter though since the “so called” Parnell and the “so called” pro knots are the same knots - a overhand knot. The only difference is how the anchor string passes through the overhand knot.

EDIT: Really nothing more than slip knots with no where to go.
All four, the way he tied off, and the knot, looked like Pro - not Parnell - knots to me. He went O-U-T, then he sent it under the loop over the anchor string but the opposite direction it went O-U-T. That's not how the Parnell knot is tied. Pretty sure he didn't tie three Parnell knots and one Pro knot. @Rabbit would you like to deliver a verdict?

Anyway, who cares? It's a discussion about starting clamps, which became a discussion about whether it's best to tie off with a starting clamp, pliers, or just your hands.
You know, @kkm, I had to go back and watch the video. Yep, Ferguson uses pliers but he's not pulling hard, and he's done it enough I wouldn't question his use of whatever he wants. That is, of course, unlike some "so-called" experts here on the boards who fret over where a string will come out, i.e. over/under, or a "so-called" hard weave. But in order to prove a point I guess some "self-appointed" experts will go to any length to validate themselves including throwing rocks at one of the top stringers on the planet. But to each his own.

@kkm you're right all pro knots my bad.
Cherish this, @kkm, like Haley's Comet you only see it once every 76 years or so.
 

kkm

Professional
You know, @kkm, I had to go back and watch the video. Yep, Ferguson uses pliers but he's not pulling hard, and he's done it enough I wouldn't question his use of whatever he wants. That is, of course, unlike some "so-called" experts here on the boards who fret over where a string will come out, i.e. over/under, or a "so-called" hard weave. But in order to prove a point I guess some "self-appointed" experts will go to any length to validate themselves including throwing rocks at one of the top stringers on the planet. But to each his own.
He’s not pulling hard, and the way he holds the pliers and the direction he pulls seem safe to me. I just wanted to post an example of what looked like good technique using pliers instead of a starting clamp to tie off. Nate uses pliers, Ron uses Babolat cam action pliers, and they both get the job done. Know what else is funny? Nate and Ron don’t use a starting block or anything else between the starting clamp and the frame, and it must be working for them and their customers. But the way some stringers who string for much lower-level players talk you’d think that not using a block or a pad is one of the worst things that a stringer could do.

Cherish this, @kkm, like Haley's Comet you only see it once every 76 years or so.
Great analogy, and I think his posts are, on average, by far the most incoherent posts on TT.
 
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Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
A pair of Kelly forceps are nice to have as well. I use it to grab the string in tight places. One can never have too many instruments.
Don't forget to get a spacer, or as some call it a starting block, to place between the frame and sc.
Is that like the Parnell pads? Oh my mentor said there's no need for them.
 

jim e

Legend
No, Parnell pad is just a pad of leather so clamp does not scratch frame. I never used that, and my clamp never scratched a frameA starting block or spacer allows the SC to clamp string in area that will not end up in the bending area of the grommets. I use something to give a space, as I protect the string as best as I can, especially natural gut.
 

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
@Pumpkin,
The Parnell video is demonstrating the use of his "Parnell Block" (same purpose as a Kimony Starting Block, but technically a different product).

Kimony Starting Block can be seen here...
Hi Wes. Yes I know what it looks like. Don't know what the purpose of it is or how one would use it. jim e tried to describe it to me but I dont understand.
 

Wes

Professional
Hi Wes. Yes I know what it looks like. Don't know what the purpose of it is or how one would use it. jim e tried to describe it to me but I dont understand.

Well... then you didn't read the description on Kimony's web site or listen to Richard Parnell in his video (where he, too, explained exactly what the purpose is & how to implement it).

I sent you a private message (i.e. "Conversation"), but you didn't respond. Perhaps you should open that up.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes I know what it looks like. Don't know what the purpose of it is or how one would use it. jim e tried to describe it to me but I dont understand.
When you clamp a string with a starting clamp the clamp will crush the string making it flatter. If tension is place on the string the string may rebound somewhat back to its original shape. If you clamp a string at the throat as Richard did in the video hopefully using the block move the crushed section of the string past the point where it bends around the grommet. Then when you tension the next string the section of string that was crushed is tensioned and returns to a normal state.

If a block or spacer is not used that flattened section of string well be bent around the grommet. If you have a flatter string bent around a point the radius of the bend is smaller which puts more stress on the outside of a string and it will break easier. The same holds true for knots. If a section of string has been crushed by a clamp and that section ends up in the knot the string is easier to break.

You don’t really need a $20 spacer you can use a 2-5 cm section of pvc pipe to do the same thing. I believe theres a guy that uses wood blocks of different lengths.

Any more I tend to never clamp the string on the outside of the frame and that’s one of the reasons I use a starting knot. Instead of using a starting clamp to back up the machine clamp when starting mains I clamp the string with the starting clamp right against the machine clamp with a pad between the 2 clamps.
 
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esm

Hall of Fame
Any more I tend to never clamp the string on the outside of the frame and that’s one of the reasons I use a starting knot. Instead of using a starting clamp to back up the machine clamp when starting mains I clamp the string with the starting clamp right against the machine clamp with a pad between the 2 clamps.
i am sure @Pumpkin's mentor/slam credited stringer/best mate will tell ya that they do not/should not use starting knot at the slams/some tournaments.... (i think thats what i ready somewhere or from @uk_skippy) :love:
 

Pumpkin

Semi-Pro
it’s possible, but not with your know it all attitude.
But I haven't had a know it all attitude. I admitted you guys had a point about using a SC instead of pliers and look, there's one coming in the mail. If I had a bad attitude I just would have continued with the pliers.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
You don’t really need a $20 spacer you can use a 2-5 cm section of pvc pipe to do the same thing. I believe theres a guy that uses wood blocks of different lengths.
If you do decide to make your own, for goodness sake don’t use a piece of PVC longer than 5.5 cm.
Also remember that decorative clothes pins have many uses in stringing as well as balsa wood scraps, duct tape and unoxidized baling wire to name but a few.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
@Pumpkin if you use pliers make sure you pull the string towards your shoulder. I’ve broken string pulling the before but I’ve never come close to hitting myself in the face. If you pry the string bending the elbow as you pull up you may hit yourself in the face. Don’t do that

The reason I like the SC is it has rounded edges and its diamond duster. Pliers have sharp edges and serrations that could easily break the string.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I know I haven't been stringing as long as you guys but I haven't seen string snapping from the starting clamp used to start the crosses as I don't use a spacer of any kind. There is a very good stringer in the state next to ours that has strung at tournaments we have attended and he uses a 4 inch PVC spacer as he indicates the flattened string doesn't end up on the racquet after cutting the tail. I just haven't seen the need.

I also haven't had friends return racquets to me with Parnell or pro knots untied as I have seen posted even with slippery string like Velocity or Poly.
 
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struggle

Legend
Never have i used a starting block nor had any issues that would ask for one (that i'm aware of), but it seems like an ok idea,
perhaps unnecessary. I would go with the Parnell rigs myself if I were to get passionate about it. Or maybe just go visit the local
cobbler and have him stitch together a few scraps in the same fashion.

Maybe the shankers should insist on such.
 
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